What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Mahayana

General forum on Mahayana.

Re: What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Maha

Postby Astus » Sun Jan 27, 2013 3:58 pm

I think the Vimalakirti Sutra is the best to make a point about what Mahayana is about. It is funny, easygoing, imaginative, philosophically deep and flexible, open to all sorts of inclinations.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Maha

Postby BuddhaSoup » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:15 pm

It's my feeling that neither Mahayana nor Theravada that needs to make a 'convincing case" for itself. It's terribly interesting to study the history of the development of the various sanghas and schools, and to understand the origins, development and actual authors of the suttas and sutras.

For this reason, I'm a big fan of Bhikkhu Bodhi. As most folks here know, he's a Theravada Bhikkhu that lives and teaches at a Chan monastery in New York. He's a Pali scholar, who also walks the walk through his Buddhist Global Relief program, http://www.buddhistglobalrelief.org/ , among others.

So, here's one thing he has said: "In my own view, both paths (or vehicles) — the arahant path and the bodhisattva path — can be seen as valid expressions of the Buddha's teaching." This article (cited at other times, I'm sure, on this and it's sister's forum) is the best expression of this validation of both schools: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ttvas.html

From what little I have read of the subject, Theravada (not Hinayana, which disappeared) and Mahayana share the same foundational body and bloodline. It can be argued that both Theravada and Mahayana have attributes of embellishment and variable authenticity. I like what Ven. Bodhi has to say, that we need not make convincing arguments for both Therayana and Mahayana....both are fraternal twins who were raised by different parents. They sometimes forget that their DNA mirrors each other.

I want to also mention that Bhikkhu Bodhi also suffers serious migraines (I'm sorry you suffer these, JKhedrup) ...such that they have interfered with his work at times in his past. Yet, he moves forward, and for me is one of the leading lights in the modern Buddhist world.
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Re: What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Maha

Postby lowlydog » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:22 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:From what little I have read of the subject, Theravada (not Hinayana, which disappeared) and Mahayana share the same foundational body and bloodline. It can be argued that both Theravada and Mahayana have attributes of embellishment and variable authenticity. I like what Ven. Bodhi has to say, that we need not make convincing arguments for both Therayana and Mahayana....both are fraternal twins who were raised by different parents. They sometimes forget that their DNA mirrors each other.


:good: completly agree.
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Re: What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Maha

Postby PorkChop » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:41 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Yes my post was not so clear. From time to time in winter I get pretty severe headaches and cannot read, sleep or do much of anything. I decided to try and make some posts on dharma wheel but of course with a serious headache they came out a little bit convoluted/unclear in some instances. For that I apologize!

I was mainly referring to what texts most inspired the practitioners here to take up the practice of Mahayana, and how those texts convinced them it was a genuine teaching. In the Tibetan scholastic tradition texts that touch on this point are known as teg chen bka' sgrubs "Proving Mahayana as the (Buddha's) Word." But I was not referring only to that type of literature, but also to Mahayana Sutras and Shastras that simply inspired faith in the practice of the Bodhisattva vehicle.

I am not trying to convince anyone, I was more interested in people's journeys. I decided a long time ago that people will follow the path of pratice with which they have an affinity.


No need to apologize.
Hope you feel better!
My favorite Mahayana sutra thus far is the Heart Sutra, which I usually read alongside the Kaccayanagotta Sutta (SN 12.15).
My favorite Mahayana practice thus far is Medicine Buddha, which I associate with buddhanussati, recollection of the 7 factors of enlightenment (SN 46.16), and the Sarakaani Sutta (SN 55.24).
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Re: What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Maha

Postby randomseb » Sun Jan 27, 2013 5:44 pm

For me, it was extensive reading and pondering on the commentaries and texts left by various Ch'an patriarchs and masters that clarified things for me, supporting the Diamond, Lotus and Vimalakirti Sutras

Perfect emptiness is a transparent sea
where the feintest breath makes foam
as soon as we have a body
we have worries about food and clothes
runaway racehorse perceptions
uncaged monkey delusions
until you understand the Lord of Emptiness
the Wheel of Rebirth rolls on
~ Stonehouse (14th century)
Disclaimer: If I have posted about something, then I obviously have no idea what I am talking about!
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Re: What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Maha

Postby JKhedrup » Sun Jan 27, 2013 8:12 pm

Thanks Yudron and Porkchop-
I guess many people have some sort of health issues in their lives. I am not sure of the source of these headaches, though acupuncture treatment did bring some temporary relief.
Our Dutch translator here, who has been doing this work for a long time, tells me translators are very succeptible to rlung illness (wind disease) which sometimes cause headaches. I am not sure why this is and also don't know how I would go about diagnosing rlung without the help of a Tibetan doctor.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: What text(s) do you feel make a convincing case for Maha

Postby PorkChop » Sun Jan 27, 2013 11:37 pm

JKhedrup wrote:Thanks Yudron and Porkchop-
I guess many people have some sort of health issues in their lives. I am not sure of the source of these headaches, though acupuncture treatment did bring some temporary relief.
Our Dutch translator here, who has been doing this work for a long time, tells me translators are very succeptible to rlung illness (wind disease) which sometimes cause headaches. I am not sure why this is and also don't know how I would go about diagnosing rlung without the help of a Tibetan doctor.


Oohh, I hadn't thought of that.
In 2007, I went back to Japan for a visit after a long time away.
I'd been studying the language hard for a good 6 months before going in order to brush up.
After about a week of being in Japan, immersed in Japanese 24/7, hearing it, reading it, swimming in it... I got some of the worst headaches I've ever had.
I'd been doing Japanese as a hobby before I left, but getting there and making it my main functioning language really did a number on my head.
Not sure if you're going through the same thing, but sometimes I think you may need to let those brain muscles rest. :)
I know I also had headaches a few months back when my breath meditation practice was really picking up.
Wish I knew how to help you, the only thing that worked for me was time off and sleep.
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